General Education

“That perfection of the Intellect, which is the result of Education, to be imparted to individuals in their respective measures is the clear, calm, accurate vision and comprehension of all things, as far as the finite mind can embrace them, each in its place, and with its own characteristics upon it.”

– John Henry Cardinal Newman

General Education at the University of Saint Francis is a common undergraduate curriculum which includes a series of experiences shared by all undergraduate students. Permeated by the Franciscan values, it involves the cultivation of knowledge, intellectual skills, and attitudes designed to integrate liberal arts into the personal and professional lives of students culminating in a commitment to life-long learning.

Students will take 46-49 hours of courses to fulfill the university’s general education curriculum. These eight goals are realized through a series of learning outcomes.


  1. Develop a personal awareness of our diverse and global society (9 cr hrs)
    Learning Outcomes:

    • Analyze current issues with historical perspective
    • Demonstrate the interconnectedness of knowledge within the Catholic and Franciscan liberal arts tradition.
    • Recognize the interrelationship between society and the natural environment.
  2. Demonstrate leadership,service, and social responsibility (3 cr hrs)
    Learning Outcomes:

    • Develop a critical understanding of human behavior within various contexts in order to address issues of social justice.
    • Demonstrate an awareness of and compassionate response to human needs and struggles.
    • Understand how to serve local, national, and global communities in order to foster a just, peaceful, and sustainable world.
    • Exercise leadership in fostering and promoting peace and justice in personal and professional interactions.
  3. Communicate effectively in personal and professional interactions (6 cr hrs)
    Learning Outcomes:

    • Read competently.
    • Write clearly and logically.
    • Speak clearly and coherently.
    • Listen effectively.
    • Interact effectively in a collaborative and respectful manner.
  4. Demonstrate competence in applying current and emerging technologies (0 cr hrs)
    Learning Outcomes:

    • Research, evaluate, and apply information using technology.
    • Integrate changes in technology within their discipline.
  5. Demonstrate personal and social awareness of the importance of lifelong health and wellness (2-3 cr hrs)
    Learning Outcomes:

    • Recognize human behaviors, attitudes, and current principles that impact health and wellness.
    • Participate in activities that demonstrate the importance of integrating lifelong physical activity into one’s lifestyle.
  6. Think analytically, synthetically, critically, and creatively in the pursuit of knowledge (15-16 cr hrs)
    Learning Outcomes:

    • Demonstrate the ability to understand and critically evaluate arguments
    • Demonstrate an understanding of basic principles of ethical decision making and the ability to apply those principles.
    • Examine critically the role ambiguity and uncertainty play in the quest for knowledge and truth.
    • Demonstrate creativity and leadership in developing and framing problems and effective solutions and applications.
    • Demonstrate proficiency in mathematical reasoning and problem solving.
    • Demonstrate scientific literacy and an understanding of the process of scientific inquiry.
    • Develop a critical understanding of human behavior within a defined context.
  7. Develop awareness and understanding of the artistic and expressive aspects of the human experience (5-6 cr hrs)
    Learning Outcomes:

    • Develop an understanding of the human experience as conveyed through creative expression.
    • Demonstrate knowledge of the creative expression of diverse cultures.
  8. Appreciate the spiritual dimension of life and be conscious of one’s own religious perspective within a community context (6 cr hrs)
    Learning Outcomes:

    • Demonstrate literacy in Franciscan values and traditions.
    • Examine personal, professional and communal choices and actions from a moral perspective.
    • Explore personal spiritual development.
    • Demonstrate an ability to explore theologically a faith tradition.
    • Exhibit an informed understanding of different religions.


As a foundation to the university’s general education curriculum, all first-time students are required to enroll in iConnect.

iConnect is an innovative course designed by the faculty at USF to increase our students understanding of college-level learning, introduce them to university life, especially at the University of Saint Francis, and to develop in our students a love for lifelong learning. The course is intended to create an academic, spiritual and social community where our students will demonstrate competencies for successful college-level study. The course will help students connect with faculty, fellow students and the university. It is intended that the course give students the tools to take control of their learning and use their powers of deduction and critical reasoning to explore a theme with depth and breadth.